German Shepherds are athletic and high-energy dog breeds that require a lot of exercise and activity to burn their excess energy. Their strength and body build in addition to their activity requirements make them capable of running long distances.
German Shepherds are considered one of the fastest dog breeds ever and the most interesting fact is that they even run faster when they are chasing something. This attribute in addition to their highly intelligent nature makes them the dog breed used for security purposes by both the police and the military.
How Far Can a German Shepherd Run?
Generally, all German Shepherds should be able to run for at least 5 miles (8 km) if there are not facing any health problems. However, the normal running distance for a German Shepherd is between 5 to 20 miles.
How far they can run depends on the factors listed below but with consistent training, they are capable of running up to 30 miles per hour.
The overall factors that determine how long a German Shepherd can run are none other than the following;
- Health status
- Endurance level
- Atmospheric conditions
A fit German Shepherd is a healthy one. A fit German Shepherd is well-fed, active, with perfect weight, and can run far distances at a high speed.
As a German Shepherd grows older, it loses its ability to run fast and for long distances. This is normal in all dog breeds so there is no reason to be worried if you notice that about your dog.
Overweight German Shepherds will find it difficult to run because they will get tired easily. If your dog falls in this category, start with walks, then as the weight improves, you can move ahead to jogging and finally, when your dog attains an impressive level of fitness, you can start taking it out to run.
A healthy German Shepherd will attain a higher running speed and cover a longer distance than one with health issues. For example, a German Shepherd suffering from dysplasia or arthritis will find it difficult to run because of excess muscle pains.
When considering a diet, your German Shepherd can either be malnourished or overfed. You do not want to have any of these two problems because they both affect the overall performance of your dog.
An active German Shepherd that is used to frequent training and exercises will have no problems running long distances. If your German Shepherd is not used to all of this, it will find it very difficult to run far and fast.
The endurance level is usually built through training. A German Shepherd that has been trained to endure will run longer distances than one that hasn’t received any training.
Your German Shepherd will only run well when the weather is nice. Too hot or too cold weather conditions will reduce the performance of your German Shepherd, so you are not meant to even go out to run.
How Fast Can a German Shepherd Run?
German Shepherds are considered to be one of the fastest dog breeds. When in good and healthy shape, they can run at a top speed of 32 mph (52 kph) on a good trail, under ideal weather conditions.
This is indeed impressive considering the fact that German Shepherds are potentially heavyweight dogs.
Can a German Shepherd Run a Marathon?
Yes, a fully grown German Shepherd that is well-trained and in good shape can run a marathon effortlessly. German shepherds, being high-energy dogs, love activities that will make them burn this excess energy and this includes running long distances.
However, you should not forget that you can only take your German Shepherd out for running when it is 15 months old and over.
Running is one of the best exercises for you and your German Shepherd. Not only is it effective, but it is also cheap as you do not need any high-end equipment. Running with your German Shepherd will not only help to release its excess energy, but it will also help prevent it from getting overweight as a result of fat buildup and improve its emotional health.
If we’re being honest, you as the owner might even benefit more from running because you will get motivated daily to exercise and keep fit and healthy. You will also be able to burn the excess fat that you might have accumulated over time.
However, when taking your German Shepherd running, you should be careful enough not to make it run more than its strength will take. Too much pressure can cause a sprain in its muscles and cause it to develop more problems. You should know that despite being good runners, German Shepherds are not always used for racing or exposed to excessive running because they are originally just herding dogs.